Parents urged to apply for school places in Derbyshire

PARENTS of year six pupils have been told time is running out for them to apply to Derbyshire County Council to secure their child a place at secondary school.

Around 7,600 year six primary school children – who were born between 1 September 2000 and 31 August 2001 – have already been sent information on the application process.

Applying can be done online in the school admissions section of the county council’s website at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/admissions.

The deadline to submit applications is midnight on Monday, October 31.

Applying online is quicker and allows parents to make changes to their application at any point up to the closing date. Anyone who applies online also receives an email to confirm their application has been received, said a spokesman for the council.

Parents who do not have access to a computer can call on 08456 058 058 between 8am and 8pm on weekdays and 9.30am and 4pm on Saturdays, where contact centre staff will complete the form over the telephone. The process takes about 15 minutes, she said.

Parents can still choose to complete the paper form, which they can get by emailing admissions@derbyshire.gov.uk or ringing 01629 537499. This can be returned to their child’s current school.

All schools hold open evenings and before making an application prospective parents and pupils are encouraged to visit them to have a look around and speak to the teachers.

When completing the application form parents are asked to list, in order of preference, the three schools they would most like their child to go to.

Although parents have a legal right to express preferences they have no automatic right to a place at any particular school.

Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered until places have been allocated to those children whose parents did return their form on time.

Parents who fail to meet the deadline may find the school that they want their child to go to is full.

Cllr Mike Longden, the council’s cabinet member for education, said: “We want parents to carefully consider which school they want their child to go to and get their application in before the deadline to give themselves the best chance of success.

“If they miss the deadline they risk not getting a place for their child at their preferred school and that could mean them having to travel further to an alternative school or not getting into the same school as their friends.”

Any parents who are refused a place for their child have a right of appeal to an independent panel.

Apply for your child’s place online at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/admissions.